Nordstrand NJ4 Vs. Bill Lawrence J45?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by deepestend, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    Has anyone tried both pickups? I'm thinking about some single coils for a project that is happening and think that one of these two could make me happy. Looking for a basic deep vintage but still clear bass sound.
  2. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    Bump... anyone tried both pickups?
  3. kris pung

    kris pung

    Jul 25, 2003
    Chicago, IL
  4. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    thanks! plenty of info on the nordstrands, but not so much on the bill lawrence pickups. I have a set in my tele that I love, so I'm guessing that i'll love his jazz pickups-- but i can't be sure.
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  6. Nordstrand sounds like real single coil what it actually is, with exciting mids, low-mid punchiness and reasonably noisy.
    Lawrence is somehow more polished, almost hi-fi sounding, balanced in whole spectrum and quieter.
    Actually, totaly different pickups, but equally great for different purposes.
    I have Lawrence ('87 OBL brand) in my fretless jazzbas and it does there excellent job, perfect for studio, as well.
  7. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    Thanks for that review.

    Are the Lawrence's as hi-fi sounding as Bartolini's?
  8. No, they are more hi-fi than Bartolini, but not boring indeed. Love both, so choice depends on application. Lawrence is IMO more universal PU than Bartolini.

    Sep 12, 2005
    Haven't tried Nordstrand's to compare - but I've had a set of Lawrence J45's for about 5 years. Very quiet pickups when soloed, and have an awesome clarity and response from top to bottom. Had Bartolini's before the J45's - difference is night and day. Bart's sounded compressed and dark in comparison. That could well be what that particular model of Bart's was supposed to sound like, so I'm not knocking them - just that I preferred the full range and life that the Lawrence pickups have.
  10. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    Thanks for the review. I had some dual coil barts that I could split before this and could never get into the sound. I could never put my finger on exactly what wasn't to my liking, but they just weren't for me. Quality pickups and good sound, though.

    I emailed bill and becky last week and they have some j45's in stock, so I ordered them. I will definitely report back when I get this new bass all put together.
  11. Senator


    Nov 11, 2008
  12. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    Note: it's going to be a week or two before I can post a review. I'm waiting for all the various parts to come in for this frankenjazz. Looking good, though: used warmoth neck/body, bart tc3 buffer/boost preamp (goes in after the tone section so it's just a boost), flats, etc.. Should be good.
  13. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    I don't get the hi-fi description of the J45s, I have a pair of them, I love them in my MIJ 62 J RI - they sound good but I would not call them 'hi-fi' - this compared to Alembic or EMG that I normally play. They are useful pickups,they are punchy, but they do not have that top end that your true single coils like a Fralin or some Nordstrand models will give you. Not that you'd notice any lack of top end, you'd only notice this in comparison but not when you are playing.

    They are excellent value though, well (hand made). Mine has bubbles in the resin....funky handmade to me, but poor QC in an aerospace industrial world to some.
  14. Did you ever get this bass together?
  15. LaBassGuy


    Aug 26, 2008
    I have the NJ4 in 60s wind in my Geddy Lee. I get a big, big bottom and low mids and more . . "controlled" highs. Not too harsh or open. So, basically, the way a bass should sound.
  16. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    I actually did build this... and then parted it out because I hated it... and built it again.

    I am now very happy with the bass. I'll post pics later, but here's what it's made of:

    Mark Jenny Jazz body from Wildwood Manufacturing
    USACG Tele jazz Neck
    Ultralight Tuners
    Audere JZ3D pre
    Bill Lawrence Jazz pickups

    The whole thing is light and punchy and just feels like an extension of my hands. Pickups just sound great. Not "too" anything, just punchy with a slight growl to them.
  17. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    There'll be a set of them going into my Jazz Bass soon. I've got a P46 in my PBass and Keystones in one of my Teles and I love the clarity, the articulation and the uncolored nature of all of his pickups.

    I wouldn't know how to compare them tonally to other boutique pickups other than some Fender CS models but what Bill and Becky produce as far as a quality product for the price they go for is a true bargain. They're great sounding all around pickups with no short comings I can hear.
  18. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member

    Finally got this bass going again after putting it away for a year. Great sounding pickups. Not hi-fi sounding at all, just a lot of clarity. Smooth and noisless. Just the prefect tool for the job.
  19. Bobbydeells


    Mar 19, 2007
    I HAVE A SX Ursa 2 Hum MN BK will a Bill Lawrence J 45 neck pick up fit

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